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Details of pub: Bull and Mouth, Aberystwyth

Other names:
Address/Location: 55 Terrace Road
OS Grid Ref: SN5838881846
Opened: before 1830      
Closed: 1871       Type: Pub
Summary: Formerly no. 55 Terrace Road, now the western half of the shop forming the new Ceredigion Museum entrance and Tourist Information Centre.
This pub is the earliest recorded in Terrace Road. It dates back to the late 1820s, when Terrace Road was little more than a few houses connecting Marine Terrace, Portland Street and North Parade.
Morgan Jones was the first recorded licensee but by 1840 he had been succeeded by Ann James. The next licensee was Francis Careswell who was in debt to the tune of £293 17s. Id in 1847. He was made bankrupt and the papers of his case survive, including a list of the valuations of all his possessions, including his underpants. He estimated that the profits from the pub were about £20 a year, but he was spending £14 a year on rent; nearly £8 on taxes and rates; £7.6.2¾ on the public house licence; £7.10s on servants wages, £12 on coal, £14 on his children’s education, £20 on clothing; £9 on shoes; £5 on repairing and painting the pub and £91 a year on other household expenses which add up to £180 a year. To help cover the difference, he worked as a waiter at the Belle Vue Hotel but he made only £35 a year for this work.
He had already been forced to sell some of his furniture to pay debts, and had £70 worth of unsold ale, spirits and porter in his store. He was owed £77 by customers whom he allowed to keep a ‘tab’ of debts for drinks and accommodation, some of whom had left town without paying. At the time of his bankruptcy, he was allowed to keep a minimum of £20 worth of furniture and £20 worth of family clothes.
It is possible that the Bull and Mouth closed , at least for a while, but there may simply be a gap in the records. Various sources dated 1865 and later show that there was a public house called the Bull and Mouth in Terrace Road, but located at no. 37 (formerly no. 11). This is where Richard Williams opened the old established house, the Bull and Mouth on the 23rd December, 1865; it was where the Temple of Love Lodge of the Odd Fellows had their first meeting in 1866, and where there was an inquest into the death of David Jenkins, the landlord, who fell or jumped out of a window when drunk in 1868.
Although the reference to the ‘old established house’ in 1865 and the under-lease of no 53 in 1869 clearly stated that it was adjacent to the Bull and Mouth, two adverts, dated 1865 and 1868 give the address as no. 37 and an advert in 1868 gives John Evans’ name as a Lodging House Keeper of no. 55. Another piece of evidence which supports the continued location of the Bull and Mouth at no. 55 is that the landlord’s licence was transferred from Richard Williams who re-opened the pub in 1865, to J. H. Davies, possibly the chemist who lived next door at no. 53. Richard Williams died in 1870, aged 85. There are several later references to the Bull and Mouth, for example, Rees Rees was landlord in 1870 and 1871, but none state the address. However, In 1872, Alfred Worthington, who had sub-leased the property from Elizabeth Edwards, applied for a licence for a house in Terrace Road, formerly known as the Bull and Mouth, but which was not now used as a public-house. The report of this application states that Worthington had no intention to use the licence, but applied for one to increase the value of the house. There is no evidence that the property was ever used as a public house again.

The name is a curious one. There was a more famous "Bull and Mouth" in Bull and Mouth Street in London. Theories include that the name is a corruption of "Boulogne Mouth" where Henry VIII had a victory, or "Bowl and Mouth" - a sign signifying food was available.

Notes: 1830 - 1837
Called the Bull and Mouth public house, occupied by Morgan Jones
St Michael's poor rate assessments, Ceredigion Archives, CPR/ASM/PL/1-35

On the list of premises which were provided with water by the Aberystwyth Improvement Commissioners, 1839. Occupier / Landlord: Robert Craddock (Ceredigion Archives)

Ann James
occupation: Public House
address: Bull and Mouth Terrace Road
source: Robson's trade directory 1840

Francis Careswell was another tradesman who found himself insolvent. As
landlord of the Bull and Mouth Inn at Aberystwyth, he found himself heavily in debt in 1847 to the tune of 293 17s. Id.
NLW Llidiardau 9/2/20;
Barber, Jill, The problem of debt: the papers of Charles Parry, solicitor, 1844-1855, National Library of Wales journal, vol. 28, no. 2, (1993), p. 205

WHEREAS a Petition of Francis Careswell, of the Bull and Mouth Inn, in the Town of Aberystwyth, in the County of Cardigan, Innkeeper, and Waiter, at the Belle Vue Hotel, in the said Town of Aberystwyth, an Insolvent Debtor, having been filed in the County Court of Cardiganshire, at Aberystwyth, in the said County, and an interim order for protection from process having been given to the said Francis Careswell under the provisions of the statutes in that case made and provided, the said Francis Careswell is hereby required to appear in such aforesaid Court, on the twenty-eighth day of April next, at ten o'clock in the forenoon precisely, for his first examination touching his Debts, Estate, and Effects, and to be further dealt with according to the provisions of the said statutes and notice is hereby given, that the choice of the creditor's assignees is to take place at the time so appointed. All persons indebted to the said Francis Careswell, or who have any of his Effects, are not to pay or deliver the same but to Mr. John Jenkins, the Clerk of the said Court, at his Office at Aberystwyth aforesaid, the Official Assignee nominated in that behalf by the said Court acting in the matter of the said Petition,
JOHN JENKINS, Clerk. PARRY AND BERRY. Attorneys for the said Petitioner. Dated Aberystwyth, April 4th, 1848.
The Welshman, 7.4.1848

the case of Francis Careswell, innkeeper of Aberystwith, for an interim order of protection under the statute of 5 and 6 Victoria, cap. 116, and 7 and 8 Victoria, cap. GG. The petition and schedule, &c. had been duly filed. His Honour granted the interim order of protection until the next Court, and directed that notice should be given to all the creditors by letter and the usual advertisement of the first hearing to be inserted in the London Gazette and local papers. This was the first insolvency case in this Court. The other causes heard in the course of the day presented no features of public interest whatsoever.
The Welshman, 14.4.1848

Landlord: Francis Careswell
Hunt and Co's Directory for Gloucester, Bristol and Welsh towns.
[It is possible that this information was out of date in 1849]

1865 (about)
Ellen Williams and her sister moved into the premises and used the [present] bedroom as a work room and had about fifteen dressmakers' apprentices worked there.
See newspaper report on the Fear v Phillips case.

'BULL AND MOUTH. This old established house, situated in Terrace Road, will be opened by RICHARD WILLIAMS, on Saturday, the 23rd instant. R. W. respectfully solicits the patronage and support of the public. He has made perfect arrangements for the accommodation of his customers; and hopes by strict attention to his business, and by keeping; the best articles in his trade, to win and merit general support. No. 11, TERRACE ROAD'
Aberystwyth Observer 23.12.1865

THE ODD-FELLOWS. This rapidly growing, and consequently prosperous society has opened a new lodge in this town, at the Bull and Mouth public house, under the title of The Temple of Love lodge.
The Aberystwith Observer, 12th May 1866; Cambrian News 19th May 1916

CORONER'S INQUEST. An inquest was held on Tuesday last, at the Bull and Mouth public-house, in this town, before John M. Davies, Esq., coroner for the county, upon the body of David Jenkins, landlord of the said public-house.
It seems that the landlord had fallen or jumped out of a window when drunk
The Aberystwith Observer, 12th September 1868

John Evans
occupation: Lodging House Keeper
address: 25 Terrace Road
source: Slater's trade directory, 1868

Bull and Mouth, Richard Williams, 11 Terrace Road.
Slater's Directory 1868

1869 (13.3.1869)
Under-lease by Elizabeth Edwards of Aberceiro, p. Llanbadarn Fawr, widow, of Edward Edwards of Lovesgrove [died by 1834?] to John Hugh Davies of North Parade, Aberystwyth, pharmaceutical chemist, of premises in Portland Street, Aberystwyth, 1869 (engrossed with coloured elevations to Terrace Road and Portland Street), …
The said Elizabeth Edwards being entitled to the dwelling house adjoining called the Bull and Mouth Public House, formerly in the estate of the late Edward Edwards, {shall not lease it to anyone for the purpose of Chemist and druggist and keep free the passage from Portland Street to the rear of the Bull and Mouth.}
NLW, Wyndham Powell Records, 6/24

The licence of the Bull and Mouth was transferred from Mr R. Williams to Mr J H Davies.
The Cambrian News and Merionethshire Standard
27th February 1869

Deaths. On the 27th inst. at 17, Marine Terrace, aged 85 years, Richard Williams, late of the Bull and Mouth Inn, in this town.
The Aberystwith Observer, 30th July 1870

Rees Rees, the landlord of the Bull and Mouth Inn, sought to recover from the defendant, William Dagnall, a billiard marker at the Belle Vue Royal Hotel, the sum of 21 16s. for ale and spirits sold and cash lent. …
The Cambrian News and Merionethshire Standard
20th August 1870

Rees Rees
occupation: Public House
Bull and Mouth [53] Terrace Road
source: Post Office, 1871

Bull and Mouth, Terrace Road, Rees Rees.
Post Office Directory of Monmouthshire and South Wales 1871 –1875
(Not in Worrall's directory, 1875)

Alfred Worthington took a sub-lease of the premises from Mrs Edwards. A new front was put in a new storey added, and a photographic studio of glass built at the back, extending along the back except at the corners. The alterations were made by Messrs Hughes and Williams. Thomas Jones, architect and surveyor, Aberystwyth, said in 1871 was in partnership with his father, Mr. George Jones, who had charge of the alterations in Mr. Worthington's time.
See newspaper report on the Fear v Phillips case.

Rees, Rees occupation Plasterer, age 41, place of birth: Aberystwyth
house no.: [55] Bull and Mouth Terrace Road head
Rees, Mary, wife
age 40, place of birth: Aberystwyth
Census 1871, no. 10

APPLICATION FOR THE RENEWAL OF A LICENSE. Mr Worthington, Terrace Road, asked that a license which he held might be renewed. The Clerk explained that the applicant had a license for a house in Terrace Road, formerly known as the Bull and Mouth, but which was not now used as a public-house. It was not used as such all last year, and therefore Mr Worthington received no notice of the licensing day. This was the adjourned licensing day, and the magistrates had power to re- new the license if they thought fit. Mr Worthington said the clerk had stated the facts of the case correctly, and he added that as the premises were once licensed, he thought it worth while to keep the license up. The Mayor said there were quite sufficient public-houses in Terrace Road already, but as Mr Worthington did not intend to make any use of the license, he only seemed to take it out to increase the value of the house, the application would be granted.
The Aberystwith Observer
7th September 1872

CARESWELL— Recently, aged 73, at Kentish Town, London, Mr. Frank Careswell, formerly for many years head waiter at the Belle Vue Hotel, and landlord of the Bull and Mouth, Aberystwyth and Jan. 29th, aged 68, Jane, his widow.
The Cambrian News and Merionethshire Standard
7th February 1879

Additional information


site of Bull and Mouth, Terrace Road, Aberystwyth, 2005

Date: 2005


Fined for keeping a disorderly house

Date: 1868


Dog bite

Date: 1870


Landlord falls out of window

Date: 1868

People associated with this establishment
Independent Order of Oddfellows, [-]